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hotsaucepennies Why hot sauce cleans pennies

I was thoroughly entertained by this bit of hobby chemical sleuthing from Michael August Pusateri, who observed years ago, while bored on-shift, that the hot sauce at the fast food joint where he was working would clean the oxide off a penny. My immediate assumption–that the effect is due to vinegar or some other acid in the sauce–turns out to be only half right. The right answer, and the process by which Michael arrived at and verified it, make for interesting reading. You might even find a use for it.

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Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


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